Jokowi wins Indonesian presidency amid controversy

As candidate Prabowo Subianto walks out in protest, prominent leaders call on the rival camps to maintain calm and accept the electoral results peacefully.

By Aditya Surya and Yenny Herawati for Khabar Southeast Asia in Jakarta

July 23, 2014
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The eleventh-hour decision by losing candidate Prabowo Subianto to pull out of Indonesia's presidential election– before the General Election Commission (KPU) released final results and declared Joko "Jokowi" Widodo the winner– spoiled the vote's democratic spirit, one leading lawmaker said Tuesday (July 22nd).

  •  Indonesian president-elect Joko

    Indonesian president-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (left) shakes hands with running mate Jusuf Kalla after delivering his victory address in Jakarta's port district Tuesday (July 22nd). The General Elections Commission declared Jokowi the winner even as his opponent Prabowo Subianto, withdrew hours before the official tally was announced. [Romeo Gacad/AFP]

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"I feel regret for what he has done. KPU has done extraordinary work. By far, this election is much cleaner than the legislative election," People's Consultative Assembly chairman Sidarto Danusubroto told reporters in Jakarta.

"The world is watching us right now. Prabowo's action is tainting our democracy," Sidarto told Khabar Southeast Asia.

The KPU late Tuesday declared Jokowi the winner of the July 9th election. The president-elect captured 53% of ballots cast in Indonesia's 33 provinces and defeated Prabowo by more than 8 million votes, according to the KPU's final tally. A total of 132 million voters turned out.

Prabowo, who earned 47% of the vote, withdrew soon before official results were announced. He claimed irregularities had tainted the vote and vowed to reject the results.

"According to the constitution of '45, we will use the constitutional right to refuse the implementation of the 2014 presidential election," Prabowo said at Polonia House on Tuesday. "We withdraw ourselves from the process."

There were conflicting reports from his camp about whether Prabowo could challenge the results before Indonesia's Constitutional Court.

Coalition spokesman Mahfud MD said it was no longer an option because Prabowo had pulled out before the results became official, AFP reported.

KPU Chairman Husni Kamil Manik responded to Prabowo's allegations before the electoral commission released the final tally.

"We only use a peaceful way…. If there were any issues regarding the voting, it should have been settled at Regional General Elections Commissions (KPUDs). The KPU's role, according to the law, is only to co-ordinate the results and announce the winner of the election," Husni told Khabar.

Pleas for calm

Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin called on the Prabowo and Jokowi camps and their supporters to maintain a peaceful atmosphere after the election.

"We already have exercised our right to vote. This is part of our democracy. Everyone, please remain calm and ensure the people around you do the same thing," he told Khabar.

"If your candidate won the election, please continue to stay calm. This is a holy month and our relationship with God is worth more than to be involved in violence," he added, alluding to Ramadan.

Co-ordinating Minister for Legal, Political and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto also called for peace Tuesday.

"I encourage all Indonesians to remain peaceful and to refuse any calls for violence because it will only tarnish our democracy. We will continue to ensure security in the community. We will stop anyone who wants to destroy our democracy," Djoko told reporters.

Djoko encouraged Prabowo followers to make wise decisions and avoid violence.

Outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono met with the two candidates Monday and asked them to accept the outcome graciously.

"Admitting defeat is glorious. Congratulate the winner nobly," local media quoted the president telling the candidates.

As of late Tuesday, the streets of Jakarta– safeguarded by a 32,000-strong security force– appeared calm despite Prabowo's withdrawal and the KPU's declaration of Jokowi as the winner.

"I think Indonesia will continue to be secure, and we will accept the new president whoever is announced by KPU," local Andri Sutarno told Khabar. "We made our choice, and we should accept the results."

Reader Comments
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    • Achmad Gozali
      July 25, 2014 @ 11:07:40PM
    • To all the Muslims currently carrying out the Ramadan worship, do not let our sacred goal in this holy month to achieve victory given by Allah SWT, be in vain just because we fanatically defend something that is not guaranteed to be right. Therefore, let us as good Muslims and all the people of Indonesia to act with wisdom, not with heated emotion, and to always seek guidance from the Almighty God so that we do not stray which will only ruin not just ourselves, our families, and others but also the future young generations of Indonesia.
    • wardoyo
      July 24, 2014 @ 05:07:14AM
    • The important thing is that we all remain calm and restrain ourselves from acts of anarchy which can stain democracy.
    • William Boeder
      July 23, 2014 @ 12:07:41PM
    • This is the very best news for all Indonesians, I wish the people the best of futures and freedoms from ex-military style Presidents. Beware President Jakowi, suddenly there will be a few individuals in your Country that will not accept the honest election result.
    • gede ariana
      July 23, 2014 @ 07:07:19AM
    • Don't be saddened by defeat, don't be content with victory. We are a democratic country, we must uphold good sportsmanship. Whoever the leader is they must fight for the people. Forget differences. Long live our beloved Indonesia.

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